Origin of overnight

Middle English word dating back to 1325–75; see origin at over-, night
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for overnight


adverb (ˌəʊvəˈnaɪt)

for the duration of the nightwe stopped overnight
in or as if in the course of one night; suddenlythe situation changed overnight

adjective (ˈəʊvəˌnaɪt) (usually prenominal)

done in, occurring in, or lasting the nightan overnight stop
staying for one nightovernight guests
lasting one nightan overnight trip; an overnight bank loan
for use during a single nightovernight clothes
occurring in or as if in the course of one night; suddenan overnight victory

verb (intr)

to stay the night
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for overnight

early 14c., from over- + night (n.). Originally "on the preceding evening;" sense of "during the night" is attested from 1530s. Meaning "in the course of a single night, hence seemingly instantaneously" is attested from 1939.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper